In Huck's Hands in Huckleberry Finn

In Huck's Hands in Huckleberry Finn

Length: 1123 words (3.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
In Huck’s Hands
Huckleberry Finn Essay

Society tends to make a substantial impact on certain individuals; others hear the society’s influences and decide what they personally believe despite contrasting opinions. As William Ellery Channing, a 19th century author, once said, "No power in society, no hardship in your condition can depress you, keep you down, in knowledge, power, virtue, influence, but by your own consent." In Huckleberry Finn, written by Mark Twain, the protagonist, Huck Finn, struggles with the difference between what is right and wrong. Throughout the novel, he faces situations with Jim, the Duke, the Dauphin, and the Wilks family in which he has to put his own opinions into action. In a constant effort to assess his true beliefs without the pressures of humanity, Huck Finn develops into an independent being who can decide, on his own, what he accepts whether it involves supporting slavery, turning Jim in, or confessing the truth.
Most of the novel centers around the relationship between Huck and Jim, Miss Watson’s runaway slave. During their first encounter, Huck comments, “I was ever so glad to see Jim. I warn’t lonesome, now” (46). In the beginning of their companionship on the island, Huck sees Jim as a friend, someone that will keep him company. However, later in the story, Huck begins to question whether or not it is right to help Jim. Afterall, Jim does belong to Miss Watson. But in the same respect, besides the fact that Jim is a slave, Huck is also running away since legally, Huck belongs to Pap. So, Huck continues to venture with Jim in hopes that he is doing the right thing. When stopped by men who are searching for runaways, Huck responds that his family, all of them sick with smallpox, is onboard the raft. Of course, the men decide not to check the boat in fear of the infection and even give Huck money for the family. Afterwards, Huck “got aboard the raft, feeling bad and low, because I knowed very well I had done wrong” (101). However, he quickly reevaluates his actions and “says to myself, hold on, - s’pose you’d a done right and give Jim up; would you felt better than what you do now? No, says I, I’d feel bad – I’d feel just the same way I do now” (101).

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"In Huck's Hands in Huckleberry Finn." 21 Feb 2020

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain Essay examples

- At the foundation of every good storyline, as well as the characters it contains, are archetypes. There is no better novel then The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, to help show how archetypes are like a building. Where the more the story progresses the more layers are added on. At the beginning of the book, Huck is nothing but a trickster, who lies and does whatever he wants. Twain has Huck go through the maze of life, facing different challenges and facing many dead ends where Huck seems to give up his quest, but in the end Huck finds the hero in himself and using his powers of wit and trickery helps the outcast mother figure, Jim get to freedom....   [tags: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn]

Research Papers
1493 words (4.3 pages)

Satire : The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn Essay

- A good author 's purpose is to influence their audience with their writing. Whether it is to sway them to one side or to just inform, authors use satire. Satire is the calling of attention to fundamental flaws in humanity through literary elements. Satire is an author 's way of pointing out an issue and calling for it to be changed. Satire is used throughout out the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to express many different . The primary ideals Mark Twain wanted to change were some of the things that many people of the time thought were acceptable....   [tags: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Satire, Mark Twain]

Research Papers
993 words (2.8 pages)

The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain Essay examples

- Mark Twain set a new standard for American literature when he wrote the novel “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” Mark Twain was a prolific writer during the late 1800’s and has been described as the “Father of American literature”. “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” is arguably one of the greatest American works of literature written and after two centuries it is still read throughout the world. This novel is about a young boy named Huckleberry Finn and the different adventure that he goes on with a runaway slave named Jim....   [tags: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain]

Research Papers
2155 words (6.2 pages)

The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain Essay

- Mark Twain 's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, published in 1884, has been an ideal representation of the era and considered a true classic American novel. The novel takes place during the Antebellum, or pre-war period, of the United States prior to the Civil War. The circumstances of this time period prompt the title character, Huckleberry Finn, to face compelling internal as well as external conflicts of society. The need for freedom versus the obligation of adhering to the hypocrisy of a "civilized" society is a significant struggle that Huckleberry Finn faces continuously throughout the course of the novel....   [tags: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain]

Research Papers
1592 words (4.5 pages)

The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain Essay

- All across the United States, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is known as a great American classic. Although it has been perceived to many controversial, there are many valid arguments as to why it is the quintessential American novel. The themes Huck Finn portrays obvious themes that play a key role in America; especially in the time it was published such as racism, slavery, and a child running away from home to help out someone who was seen as below him. Along with the controversial elements in the paper, the novel’s characters also had individual voices that made them all stand out in a way that made it more interesting to read....   [tags: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain]

Research Papers
1310 words (3.7 pages)

censorhf Censorship of Huckleberry Finn Essay

- Censorship of Huckleberry Finn       As parents, it is important for you to know what information your child receives, especially in the learning environment of a classroom. The thought of your child reading a racially offensive book is unacceptable. Some people find Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn racially offensive. If you as parents perceive this book to be offensive, it may lead some of you to request that teachers and administrators not allow students to read this book in school....   [tags: Adventures Huckleberry Huck Finn Essays]

Free Essays
1229 words (3.5 pages)

Huckleberry Finn – Morality Essay

- Huckleberry Finn – Morality   Society establishes their own rules of morality, but would they be accepted in these days.   For example, throughout the novel "Huckleberry Finn ", Mark Twain depicts society as a structure that has become little more than a collection of degraded rules and precepts that defy logic. This faulty logic manifests itself early, when the new judge in town allows Pap to keep custody of Huck. "The law backs that Judge Thatcher up and helps him to keep me out o' my property." The judge privileges Pap's "rights" to his son over Huck's welfare....   [tags: Adventures Huckleberry Huck Finn Essays]

Free Essays
699 words (2 pages)

Critics of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Essay

- Critics of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn  The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is considered by many to be the greatest American novel ever written.  Despite this praise, Mark Twain’s masterpiece has never been without criticism.  Upon its inception it was blasted for being indecent literature for young readers because of its lack of morals and contempt for conformity.  Modern indignation toward Huck Finn arises from its racist undertones, most notably Twain’s treatment of the character Jim.  As is the case with many canonized yet controversial books, the biggest conflict revolves around the inclusion of Huck Finn on required reading lists of public schools throughout the country....   [tags: Adventurous Huckleberry Finn]

Research Papers
1432 words (4.1 pages)

Spirituality in Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Essay examples

- Spirituality In Mark Twain’s The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn, written by Samuel Clemens, is a novel that challenges the views of society and questions life through the eyes of an adolescent boy. By sprinkling traces of spirituality and religious views throughout the story, Clemens creates a "martyr-like" profile for his lead character Huckleberry Finn. Huck uses his religious views as his own conscience and challenges the status quo rules of his pious society to make his own decisions which leads him on a path to personal growth....   [tags: Adventures Huckleberry Huck Finn Essays]

Free Essays
780 words (2.2 pages)

Religious Hypocrisy in Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Essay

- Huckleberry Finn – Religious Hypocrisy Every so often a piece of literature is written that can question the beliefs of millions of people with what they hold to be true. Nothing is held to be truer than the feeling of righteousness, being faithful, morally pure, and the idea of an exalted higher purpose- religion. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn questions this truth. Indirectly, Mark Twain argues and criticizes the great deal of religious hypocrisy the American culture faces....   [tags: Adventures Huckleberry Huck Finn Essays]

Free Essays
757 words (2.2 pages)

Related Searches

After realizing how he felt towards the matter, Huck decides to disregard standards in the future and simply do whatever seems “handiest at the time” (101). He is faced with a decision and resolves it. However, he does not resolve it with a clear goal; he resolves it with an unplanned thought process. Still, he is making progress. The audience sees this first achievement as a small step in Huck’s discovery of his natural morals.
At this point, Huck has conscious incompetence: he knows that he is unaware of what the moral thing to do is based upon society’s standards. He is currently doing what is most convenient. It is not until Jim opens up to him that Huck understands that Jim is a real person too. Huck ponders about Jim, remarking, “I do believe he cared just as much for his people as white folks does for their’n. It don’t seem natural, but I reckon it’s so” (170). For the first time, Huck views Jim as an individual, one who has feelings and emotions, not just a black runaway slave. All of his life, Huck is told that slaves do not matter; they are owned and their lives revolve around what they are told to do, not what they want to do or how they feel. In spite of this, he has reached a new level of awareness and continues to search for his personal standards of ethicality.
Slavery is not the only issue that Huck deals with throughout the novel. When two new characters, the Duke and the Dauphin, appear in the story, he immediately is aware that they are frauds. Nevertheless, he resolves that if he tells anyone, he and Jim could easily get in trouble also. So instead, he watches quietly as the Duke and the Dauphin deceive others. He is confused as to what he should do, and even mentions that he is ashamed to be a part of the human race because of how he sees the men act. Finally, he takes action when he sees what is happening to the Wilks family. He puts money into Peter’s coffin, and although that is progress in his initiation, he is still not doing what is completely right. He is choosing to help, yet indirectly. Instead, he could have given the money to one of the sisters, not put it in the coffin that might possibly never be found, or told the family that the Duke and the Dauphin were fakes. However, once he sees Mary Jane crying, he tells her the whole truth directly. This action is his biggest breakthrough in the novel so far. Although he could possibly get in a lot of trouble, he does what he believes is right regardless of the consequences.
Ultimately, because of Huck’s confession to Mary Jane, the Duke and the Dauphin sell Jim. At first, Huck figures that the only way to help Jim is to write a note to Miss Watson telling where Jim is. However, then he reconsiders what he is doing: he is giving into what the society would tell him to do, not want he wants to do. In spite of the society, the morals he has been taught, and the lessons he had heard growing up, he “says to myself: ‘All right, then, I’ll go to hell’ – and tore it up” (235). He decides to completely disregard everything and do what he personally believes is right. Now, finally, he has trusted his innate sense of right and wrong. Without second-guessing himself, he remarks, “It was awful thoughts, and awful words, but they was said; and never thought no more about reforming” (235). In the end, he is not struggling with his feelings. He knows them well, and is no longer confused.
Huck ends the novel with a lasting statement: “I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she’s going to adopt me and sivilize me and I can’t stand it. I been there before.” In this declaration, the audience finally sees Huck’s development as a character. He knows who he is and who he wants to be. Tired of the society and its influence, he is ready to live the rest of his life with his own standards and morals, taking tough decisions in his hands.
Return to